CLEVELAND, Ohio, Feb. 3. BOTH the Case Western Reserve University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams wrapped up their dual meet season this past Saturday at Wittenberg University.
The men defeated Wittenberg 165-114 and the women 168-132. Both teams finished the year 6-2 with one championship and an invitational remaining on their schedule. A select few will then swim in the NCAA Div. III Championships.
“I don’t think we have both been that good in the same year ever,” said Todd Clark, currently in his 14th season as head coach of both squads. “We are a combined 12-4, that gives us a nice percentage.”
Individually, junior David Whitbeck (Northville MI) has led the way this year for the men. He has posted the team’s top times in five events, the 500 freestyle (4:53.24 at Wittenberg University), 1000 freestyle (9:52.79 vs. Southwestern), 1650 freestyle (16:54.98 at EMU Inv.), 100-yard butterfly (54.92 at Carnegie Mellon), and the 200 butterfly (2:00.21 at Wittenberg).
Freshman Pat Rodjom (Murrysville PA) has also stood
out. Rodjom has CWRU’s best marks in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.32 at EMU Inv.), 200 breaststroke (2:12.18 at Wittenberg) and the 400 individual medley (4:20.87 vs. OWU).
“In the past David has had a lot of good people in front of him and now he realizes he is the guy,” said Clark. “The kid has a lot of heart. He is the first in, the last out of, and on most days the best in the pool. Pat is just having a great freshman year. He is a little bit better every day and has had no major setbacks. Pat is only going to get better.”
For the women, juniors Alicia Kendig (Lancaster PA) and Liz Badziong (Parma OH) have four top times apiece. Kendig in the 200 freestyle (1:57.15 vs. OWU), 500 freestyle (5:06.65 at EMU Inv.), 1000 freestyle (10:30.61 at Wittenberg), and the 1650 freestyle (17:28.06 at EMU Inv.) and Badziong in the 200 breaststroke (2:35.70 at EMU Inv.), 200 butterfly
(2:16.43 vs. OWU), 200 individual medley (2:14.03 at CMU), and the 400 individual medley (4:41.77 at Intra squad 2).
A bright young spot for the Spartans has been freshman Hannah Webber (Oil City PA. Webber has posted best times in the 50 backstroke (29.69 at CMU), 100 backstroke (1:02.12 vs. Southwestern), and the 200 backstroke (2:14.43 vs. Southwestern).
“Hannah had a nice year and has really been a surprise,” said Clark. “We knew she was good; we didn’t know she would dominate (in the backstroke). We’re excited to have her. Alicia and Liz are the
backbone. They are steady and relentless, swimming the hardest events, training in the hardest lanes, and they take on the hardest tasks.”
The Spartans will host the eight-team University Athletic Association Championships Thursday, February 13 through Saturday, February 15 in the Veale Natatorium at the Veale Center. CWRU will end their regular season with the second annual Veale Classic the following Saturday, February 22. The NCAA Championships for the women are March 13-15 and the men March 20-22 at Emory University in Atlanta.